June should see our gardens blossom, writes landscape gardener Jacqui Brocklehurst
PUBLISHED: 00:51 29 May 2013
It's been a slow start but the growing season is finally underway. Tree canopies provide a covering of illustrious green leaves, a signal to spring flowering bulbs that it is time to hide underground ready to surprise us again next year. Perennial favourites, emerging from their long winter slumber, put on steady growth as they bask in the warmth of the sun and longer daylight hours.
My perennials have struggled this year owing to the enthusiastic scratching and pecking from my five chickens. I adore these girls and, although they have a large enough run, I love to let them roam freely in the garden. They have done a marvellous job of turning the compost heap and scarifying the lawn but have also developed a taste for the fresh green leaves of some of my favourite plants. Shrubs, evergreens and climbers are all resilient and plants grown in pots also seem to go un-noticed.
Early summer often finds us filling pots and tubs with colourful summer annuals that billow and bloom from now until the first frosts. Hanging baskets, a riot of colour festoon many a front door, aerial planting that may be the solution to my dilemma.
These pots, tubs and baskets have a reputation for being a little gaudy yet a recent exhibition at Manchester city art gallery proved otherwise. Wrought iron railings were transformed, by clever weaving of corkscrew willow, into a natural, intertwining hedgerow of subtle colours and textures, out of place in the city centre, yet welcome and alluring. Closer inspection revealed half-baskets, lined with soft, damp moss and filled with heathers, ivies and dainty yellow tete a tete, nestled into the branches, creating an overall effect of magic and enchantment, an air of mystery that I want to introduce into my own garden.
This season my wall baskets will be fastened to an ivy covered fence with tendrils threaded through. Lined with moss they will be home to a variety of delicate plants including Oxalis ‘Sunset velvet’, Saxifraga and Gypsophila repens. Trailing white fuchsias will sparkle against the deep green foliage, safely out of the way of five hungry chickens.
Jobs for June
Plant out summer annuals. Night scented stock is deliciously scented; grow near a door or window.
Feed tomatoes when the first trusses appear.
Sow successional crops of salad leaves and herbs to ensure a plentiful supply.